Re: IOFE family, Vieksniai, Lithuania, Revision List errors? #lithuania

Joel Ratner

To my way of thinking, it is quite difficult to confuse the Cyrillic letters for the Latin "f" and "p". Here is my explanation and I'd like to ask the Russian speakers to give me some leeway in my explanation. 

The Cyrillic letter for the Latin "f" is similar to the Greek phi. IF you recall, the Greek phi is the letter with the circle and the vertical line going through it. In Cyrillic, the handwritten 'f' takes a similar form although the shape is not circular, but does have the vertical strikethrough. It is a very distinct letter The Cyrillic "p" is most like the Greek letter "pi' which has two vertical lines and a wavy top connecting the two. Examples of the two letters in question can be seen in the attached files. The list of names used for this was from the YIVO Archive, Record Group 24, F160, Part 1. These are records for the Vilna Rabbinical School and Teachers Seminary from 1872/3.  I selected these records to use as examples due to the neat, clear handwriting not always found in some revision lists and vital records. 

In the first image, an example of the Cyrillic "p" is shown. The name in this list is listed as number 46. The name is PAS, Manuel. In fact, Manuel almost received all "A's (a grade of 5). It is easily seen how the first letter of the surname PAS resembles a Greek pi. Another example is just below for number 47 on the list, PREIS, Leyzer.

In the second image, name number 57 is FRUKHT, Khatskel. The next name, number 58 is FINKELSHTEYN, Mendel. Here you can see the resemblance of the leading letter of the two surnames to the greek "phi". 

From the examples, one can see how it is difficult to mistake the two letters for one another. I have also attached a copy of examples of Cyrillic letters which can be mistaken for one another. Thanks for this list go to the developer, Joe Armata.

Joel Ratner

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